Saturday, April 04, 2015

Agrinautics thriving in Cedar City, Utah

CEDAR CITY – For nearly 26 years, Cedar City has been home to aircraft parts manufacturer Agrinautics, and company officials said it’s thriving.

Mostly flying under the radar, the business located at 1215 N. Airport Road in Cedar City produces a line of pumps, strainers and fittings for small aircraft and has carved out a considerable niche in Southern Utah.

“We produce aerial application equipment,” said company President Danna Sanders. “What that means is for crop dusters and small aircraft. We focus on valves and strainers. We ship product all over the world that we produce right here in Cedar City. It’s kind of a lesser known fact about Cedar that we are here.”

Agrinautics is a metal foundry and part producer — a main focus on parts — but the company is able to produce nearly anything Sanders said.

The company also has a partnership with Southern Utah University.

“We have a foundry class that we started teaching here a few years back,” she said. “They (SUU) bring a group of students here every semester to observe our process. We enjoy that association with them.”

Sanders said there also is the custom parts aspect of the company.

“We have done projects over the years that have been custom parts or custom metal objects,” Sanders continued, “Obviously, our main demand is for the airplane parts we produce, but we have done some custom projects for people locally.”

The company was started in 1958 by George Sanders.

It was headquartered in central California for a period of time and then relocated to Las Vegas where it operated until 1989 when once again relocation happened, this time to Southern Utah.

“We were next to McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. The part of the runway we were situated next to was annexed to expand,” Sanders said. “Agrinautics was looking to relocate, and Cedar City was recruiting. We thought it would be a good opportunity and we have been here since.”

The company employs a full time staff of 10 people and Sanders says they run a tight ship.

“We have become so efficient in our jobs, that most of us have three or four hats we wear,” she said. “Everyone pitches in and we all know our roles. We don’t have a lot of turnover.”

The company has found a niche and been able to thrive in Southern Utah.

“We don’t do a lot of advertising or anything like that just because these pilots know us and they know what they need,” Sanders said. “We produce original parts for the two largest small aircraft manufacturers in the country.”

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